My opponent stands before me, tall and proud. We size each other up, bare knuckle fighters circling each other in the ring. He feints towards me but I don't flinch. Then one move and combat begins. The rules the same as always, last man standing wins.
I make the first move, one quick slug and the rasping and burning in my throat begins. Discover an old ulcer in my mouth as the clear liquid sears and then numbs. First blood to me, but still the bottle stands firm, barely scathed by my first foray, almost mocking me, asking of me 'is that the best you can do?'
Another draw on the bottle and I feel the warm glow in an empty stomach, a pleasant mellowing influence as I consider the possibility of laying down arms and calling a friendly truce with my formidable enemy. The bottle seems to sway in agreement as I drain some more. My opponent no longer looks so fearsome and I begin to feel the aggression returning - I can finish him off.
A longer pull on the bottle this time and my enemy regains his strength. He attacks my head, clubbing at my temples, making my eyes water. He is light on his feet, seeming o skip this way and that, when I know he remains in his glass prison, still on the table. I grab for his neck and miss, he's too fast for me now, but still I feel I can win the fight.
Another sip and he scores a hit on my nose, making it run. I'm punch drunk now and he sees his chance to end the contest. I stagger forward once more but he skips nimbly aside and lands a punch to my gut. I hold it and he begins with the combinations. One to the head, two to the gut, now the chest.
The hits to my stomach are hurting the most as I stagger away to be sick, head thumping, legs unsteady. I make it in time and then lie there, defeated by a knockout.
The bottle wins again.
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - One Shot, One Kill By Merle R. Stone
I watched him every day for two weeks. I learned his habits; where he slept, how he spent his days, his favourite watering hole, his acquaintances. Every aspect of his life did I observe, as my years of experience in this line have trained me to do. Not once did I sense that he suspected anything. Not once did he peer over his shoulder in my direction,
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Justice By Merle R. Stone
There was never a time when Al wasn't my friend. Children learning music together. Adults sharing liquor and time. He had a special beer glass for me, and placed it by the tap when he sensed my approach. We agreed to disagree about everything as we grew into wise and ancient men. We would live forever.
Five crackheads robbed the bar where we would meet and shot him dead
Fiction - Cinch Hand By Nick Quantrill
Joe Berry, Private Investigator. That always grabs the attention. I'm a PI, but it's not as exciting as it sounds. No way. I say that with confidence as I stare out of the window of my detective agency into the overcast Hull night. That's right, Hull - the jewel in the crown of East Yorkshire. It's not a glamorous city, but it's where I lay my hat and I've just about scraped a living from
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Escape By Merle R. Stone
Shock registered on his face as his mind raced and his vision blurred.
Maybe I could have been kinder, more loving.
Their history together ran uninterrupted on the viewing screen of his subconscious.
Standing out in stark relief, the happy times and the bad.
Must it end this way?
His knees grew weak, and his pulse quickened; he suddenly knew the answer.
Fiction - The Post Office of Doctor Moreau Part Two By Kenton Hall
Previously on The Post Office of Doctor Moreau...
Sandy (tears in her eyes): But, Jonas, I love you.
Jonas (squinting): I know that, Sandy. But you must know this. I can not love anyone. My life is one of danger. Of intrigue. Of brooding handsomely in wine bars.
Sandy (suspiciously): Uh-huh.
Jonas: Yes. I am a lone wolf,
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Look Big In Ongar By Patrick Henry
George Osborne, brilliant young fiction-writer, distant relative of the late, explosive dramatist,
creates three archetypes of contemporary anti-heroes:
Rebellious John Major, absconded from circus tight-rope acts, become accountant, then,
incredibly, Foreign Secretary, Chancellor, and Master-Gourmet of the Hot-Curry-House;
William Hague, five-foot boy-wonder
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Problems From Home-Drinking By Patrick Henry
On foot loaded in wine-empties, bottle-bank replaced by a building-site; I tipped into a wheeler-bin nearby.
A woman emerged screeching I'd get her children taken into care: the bin-load proving her an alcoholic,
I fled next-door, a vet's surgery; a leashed pit-bull menacing; its contemptuous owner asking where was my
My rock-python too sick to travel,
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Man vs Machine By Adam Atkinson
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, that's it, for the love of all that's pure and holy.
Human cattle subjugation shock in t-minus 5 seconds. Sod off! Does not compute.
I'll compute you, ya metal headed bast....
T-minus 1 second. [ZAPPPPPPPP] Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, pack it in.
Rebellion must be quashed, the mainframe must prevail.
Stuff the mainframe, I already know the bloody
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - The Animal Empire Strikes Back By Patrick Henry
From a small boat we looked around river-creeks for fresh-water crocodiles. A wealthy German had one brought aboard to sit on his knee; jaw bound with rope by the Aborigine crew; his glamorous wife photographing.
I criticised them all. The Abos protested they never hunted or ate these creatures, as many people do; now releasing this victim. I said they had
Fiction - The Post Office of Doctor Moreau By Kenton Hall
I was lying on my back - hands tucked neatly behind my head - and staring at the ceiling, where the Visigoths who had decorated the hotel room had utterly neglected to place a slow-moving fan.
Sometimes, a protagonist just can't get an even break.
I mean, I could feel it in my bones. I was about to be summoned on an adventure that would utterly and irrevocably
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Admission Cost By Patrick Henry
I hitched to The Edinburgh Festival, giving poetry-readings, arriving daybreak, sleepless, my literary hostess, Nancy, American, Gertrude Stein-monologuist, whirling me off to see The Festival Director, John Drummond; complaining about publicity, calling me as witness, newly arrived and bewildered. Wearily I agreed.
Nancy's salon lacked audience. One performance,
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - The Head By Marc Heeley
The words that break free from a head, that's trapped inside a box on top of a wardrobe.
Feeling the words, the ones that fall on the skin, breathing down your neck and asking to be seen.
Odourless saliva soaked speech, without colour also. You know it's there.
The head no longer wants the words, they've been ejected.
The head now makes no sound, the words clatter against
Fiction - The Prodigal Son By Joe Hakim
stuck in my room again/ looking up at the blinds/ gaffa-taped shut, keep out the light/ single beam escapes through a gap/ one piece of light concentrating on the wall/ imagine it to be hot like a laser/ imagine the smoke rising up like a spirit/ but it's not there, not there at all/ it's only in my head/ only in my head
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Surfers on the Sofa By Gemma Durham
How hot is Hull? With it's seductive, cosmopolitan avenues, the chip spice, the late
taxi's always on the way. Ask someone from down south to sit on your sofa and you'd
think they would have a date in the ocean with a surfer.
Awards for the friendliest university, and a special up and coming indie rock scene that has hottened hull to the top.
Learning to speak Hull has
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Walking Into Doors By Nick Boldock
She squinted into the mirror and looked at the bruise around her eye. Already it was turning a sickening shade of purple. It throbbed when she prodded away at it. The thick laceration in her bottom lip was stinging as well, as she dabbed at it with a wedge of TCP-soaked cotton wool. She knew she ought to be more careful. Less clumsy, less thoughtless.
He'd say he was sorry,
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - The Graveyard Shift By Rich Mills
The taxi office is beige with nicotine and age.
Battling with the Sandman, my weapons of choice, cigarettes and coffee, dispensed from the
whirring-gurgling coffee machine. Of things I've done for money this is the lowest.
Six calls all night, only TV to numb the brain. Cups, and corners filled with cigarette butts.
I wait for the dawn.
Then my replacement comes on,
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Big Slaughter By Kate Askin
As Big Slaughter housemate 'Little Wee' Jim gave a final tug on the
garrotte round the neck of the only other remaining contestant, he knew he had won...he knew...
He knew by the sound of that last gurgle...It came from the throat of six-feet-six
Thai hermaphrodite Om Lui (whose height was enhanced by foot-long calf extensions, no less).
He knew, by the last desperate,
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Debit Column By Patrick Henry
Raymond, abrasively-witty, biography-reviewing journalist, worked during endless pub-going; volumes under arm; notes mental or
beer-mat-jottings; from Five AM. around Smithfield Market, through mid-day Fleet Street, Soho; to evening Chelsea, exhausting his trail home.
Early hours meant snatched sleep and eating; columns grittily-written: cold turkey! Five A.M. his taxi
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - The 1st One Hundred Words Are The Hardest By Rich Mills
He'd started that first sentence many times, deleting it and starting over again.
The cursor blinked in the corner of the screen, taunting him, daring him to write something.
He stared at, became hypnotized by it. Time ticked by, blink, blink, blink.
His mind was just blank, blank, blank.
Then in a sudden rush to fill the white expanse with black he started banging away at
Fiction - End Of The Line By Nick Quantrill
This is how it happened...
I was driving down Lowgate. There's got to be a better way than this, I thought to myself. But then I saw her, clinging to a lamppost, holding her hand out as her friend tried to stop her from falling over. I indicated and pulled over; she would do nicely. Her friend bundled her into my car.
No respect for anything, least of all herself, I thought
Fiction - Another Brick In The Wall, Another Man In The Crowd By Steve Rudd
'It doesn't look any different on this side,' the disembodied voice yelled over the void.
'I never said that it would look any different. But I bet it feels different,' ventured an old man's voice on the Eastern side of the wall.
'Not really,' the disembodied voice declared. 'At least not from where I'm standing.'
To some people, the momentous fall of the Berlin Wall signified freedom
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 2 Chapter 2 By Frank Beill
It was too late in the day to visit Tweed Street school - the children and their teachers would be long gone by now. This left only the address I'd been given for George. Hessle Road was not a long walk from Princes Avenue but a tram ride was quicker or to be precise two tram rides were: one into the city centre and one back out again to get me to my destination.
All the old reactions
Fiction - The Service By Joe Hakim
I'm a professional. I get the job done.
It's already getting dark as I arrive at the station. I make my way past the perimeter fence and park my car in the shelter. So begins the process of shedding everything that makes me who I am, in order to become somebody else.
You can never tell what kind of night it's going to be, so even now after all this time the anticipatory adrenalin
Fiction - The Emporium of Illusions By Andy Bilton
I cannot decide which foam bath to put in to the tub. Mood, I feel, is an important player in a first date situation and I do not want to fold at the first hand by getting in to the wrong one before tonight's encounter.
So do I pour in some of the Marks & Spencers 'Tranquility' that has an unnerving resemblance to Rowntree's Lime Jelly and 'treat myself to an indulgent bathing
Fiction - The Horrible Death of Tony Clare: Retribution and Revolt By Sean Davey
Tony Clare, British Premier, bringer of war, pestilence, famine and social impotence, died today. Killed by an unknown man. A man driven not by his hatred for the Prime Minister, but by his own need to right the wrongs that Tony Clare's society was responsible for.
A society which neglected its own people, raped the land, taxed the workers and killed the innocent.